The Right to Information Act, 2005, mentions that every State Government is to constitute a body to be known as the Information Commission to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions as-signed to it under the RTI Act.
The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners are to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of –
- The State Chief Information Commissioner.
- The State Information Commissioners who should not be more than 10 number.
- Headquarter of State Information Commission is to be at such place in the State which the State Government may specify or the State Information Commission may with the previous approval of the State Government establish offices at other places in state-
- The Chief Minister, who shall be the chairperson of the committee.
- The leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.
- A Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Chief Minister.
The State Chief Information Commissioner is to supervise and manage the affairs of the State Information Commission and is to be assisted by the State Information Commissioners.
Qualification and Terms of office and Conditions of service
- The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners are to be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in Law,
- Science and Technology, Social Service, Management, Journalism, Mass Media or Administration and Governance.
- The State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner are not to be a member of Parliament or member of State Legislative Assembly of any State or UT of hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.
- The State Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are to hold office for five years or upto 65 years of age.
- The State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner are required to take oath before the Governor of the State.
- The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the
- State Chief Information Commissioner is to be same as that of an Election Commissioner and of the State Information Commissioners same as that of the Chief Secretary to the State Government.
- The State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner may resign from his office by writing under his address to the Governor and can be removed from his office by the order of the Governor on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the Governor has on inquiry, reported that the grounds are valid.
Powers and Functions of the Information Commissions
- The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission are empowered to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person who could not get information from any public authority due to the reason of no appointment of PIO in that organisation.
- If the made request by any person for Information has been turned down by the public authority.
- If the information seeker could not get information within the time limit specified under RTI.
- If the demanded fee by the public authority for providing information is unreasonably high.
- If the information seeker thinks that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information.
- In respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtainng access to records under this Act.
- The Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer as the case may be is to be provided a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him.
- Burden of proving shall be upon the Information Officers.
- No suit is to be laid against any person for anything done in good faith.
- The provision of this Act are to have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
- The Right to Information Act has been continously used by the active and aware member of Civil Society to expose corrupt practices in the administration and misappropriation of funds sanctioned for the execution of public welfare schemes.
- Mrs. Aruna Roy, a social activist and winner of Magsaysay Award is actively associated with the task of popularising Right to Information Act among the common people of the country.
- Arvind Kejriwal, won the Magaseysay Award for popularising Right to Information Act among the masses.